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Keyed Up Labs KUL ES-87 Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboard Review

By: Chad Sebring | Keyboards in Peripherals | Posted: Sep 1, 2014 2:12 am
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: KUL

Inside the ES-87 Tenkeyless

 

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As we tear this keyboard down to the basics, we can see in the lower section of the frame that there is a grid to support the steel plate. The USB connection PCB stays with the frame, and disconnects from the main PCB. The top frame clips around the edge, but three screws also lock the top to the bottom, making this a super solid mechanical keyboard.

 

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To control of all the functionality and options the ES-87 offers, they have employed the services of this 8-bit, RISC architecture, Holtek HT82K94E. While this is low-speed USB 2.0 compatible, KUL chose to slow it down a touch more to USB1.1 speeds for communication between the computer and this device.

 

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Aside from the bit of flux residue we saw around the Holtek chip, the rest of the PCB is so clean you could eat from it. This is a two-layer PCB, and is designed to be mod-friendly.

 

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With this image we can discuss two things. First of all, we get to see the Cherry MX Clear switch, and the white stem in the switch. We also see that the space bar, and the other longer keys, have hidden stabilizer bars, so removing key caps is much simpler.

 

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After getting the ES-87 all back together, we connected the Mini-USB end of the cable into the port on the keyboard, and then have the choice to run the cable left, out of the middle, or to the right like we have here. Not only does the cable go in easy and stay put, but there are no harsh corners the cable can be damaged on.

 

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The last image we see is of the powered Keyed Up Labs ES-87; it is illuminated where applicable, and we even added the naming to the top. The lock LEDs being on are self-explanatory, but when the escape key is illuminated, it indicates that Power Mode is active, and Windows keys are currently repurposed.

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